What are the benefits of food dehydration?
If you’re interested in food dehydration, chances are you need to preserve food and make it last longer. Dehydrating food can make your product last an average of 2-6 times longer than freezing. And if you use a food dehydration machine, it’s even easier.
There are many ways manufacturers preserve food; some organically, others not so much. Here, we look at five benefits of drying foods through food dehydration. The process has many benefits and has great business potential. It also help individuals attempting to eat healthier and limit food wastage within their homes.
1. An ancient method of preserving food.
Food Dehydration is one of the oldest methods of food preservation in the food processing industry. Food dehydration is the process that reduces the moisture in food which improves shelf life. Prehistorically, the sun or the dry air of the deserts and mountains was the tools used to dry meat, fish, and food plants; however, technology has gifted us the ability to dry foods in the comfort of our homes and businesses using a dehydrator.
2. A multi-million dollar industry.
The process of food dehydration is a multi-billion industry that possesses the opportunity for entrepreneurs to scale and commercialize business in the Caribbean and around the world. The idea of moving from a retail fruit or sales vendor to having your products on the shelves of groceries with a longer shelf life is appealing. There are many options on the market, some for personal home use and others for commercial use. For personal use dehydrators, do your research to ensure you get the best value for your dollar. For commercial dehydrators, three factors are the technical specifications, technical support after purchase, and availability.
3. Maintains nutrients longer than fresh fruits.
Dehydrated foods are a healthier alternative to many snacks. Dried foods keep their nutritional value and maintain their nutrients for much longer than fresh foods. Fresh produce loses its vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant content within a few days of refrigeration — with reductions as high as 50% for some nutrients.
4. Keeps seasonal ingredients year-round.
In the Caribbean, sorrel is a popular seasonal plant. It is a staple to many homes; however, its harvesting period is during the last quarter of the year. The sorrel plant, known for making juice, has become an ingredient used all year in products like alcohol to flavored wings. Businesses now can access dried sorrel all year through food dehydration. While other methods are available, this process reduces the weight and size for easy storage. Food dehydration helps preserve many other seasonal foods like guava for the snow cone vendor.
Recommended lifespans of dehydrated foods:
Fruits & Vegetables: 1 year for fruit, about 6 months for vegetables, vacuum sealing can extend the shelf life.
Fruit leathers: 1 month without preservatives at room temperature, or a year in the freezer.
Meat: 1 to 2 months or 6 months if vacuum sealed and frozen.
Grains, Beans, and Rice: 1 year.
5. Almost any food can be dehydrated.
The fact that nearly everything we eat can be dehydrated allows us opportunity to create innovative products to enrich the lives of customers and or make preservative free options in at our homes. Foods are dried at different degrees for varied textures from leathery to crispy. Some food items made with dehydration include:
- Fruits with a leather texture: apples, dates, prunes, berries, and many more
- Crispy texture: plantains, bananas, strawberries, potatoes, and more.
- Powdered: teas, beverages, onion, garlic, and other vegetable seasonings.
Food dehydration benefits are limitless to businesses and your personal use. Your Equipment Supplier, supplies commercial dehydration machines, trains how to use equipment, provides technical support, warranty and financing options.